The Prayer Of The Hebrew Bible Essay

1392 Words 6 Pages
The Hebrew Bible presents Balaam as a foreign seer who is capable of bestowing blessings and curses. In the passage of interest, the Moabite King Balak feared the approach of the Israelites and decided to contract Balaam to curse the Israelites. Yet Balaam does the bidding of God and refuses to curse the Israelites for Balak, instead blessing the Israelites through a series of poems. However, there are also inscriptions discovered in a sanctuary dedicated to the babylonian divine assembly that reference Balaam. In one recovered story, Balaam dreams that the divine assembly was about to destroy his city. One aspect of this “destruction” is the subversion of the natural order of animals by making tame animals wild and wild animals tame. At the conclusion, Balaam’s warning prompts the people to repent and pray. This averts the impending disaster. Through the juxtaposition of these two narratives, the blessings in the Hebrew Bible iteration are framed by the pervasive themes of apostasy, repentance, and prayer. By reshaping the narrative through this lens, the Hebrew Bible’s story of the seer Balaam showcases God’s enduring covenant even in the light of the Israelite 's transgressions.
In many ways, the story of Balaam presented in the passage of interest and the story of Balaam presented in the old testament parallel introduce opposite narratives. Whereas the story of Balaam in the hebrew bible presents the “blessings”, or what will happen when the Israelites keep with the…

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